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HigherEd_Lessons_Learned2

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					 College  background
 Old Web site
 Project research
 New Web site development
 Implementation

 Lessons   Learned
   Largest community college system in Missouri
    serving an area of about 700 square miles;
    created by area voters in 1962
   Four campuses, three education centers
   Transfer, career and developmental programs
   Non-credit continuing education courses
   Various workforce development initiatives
   A “League for Innovation” institution
   26,000 credit students each semester
   40,000 non-credit each year
   31,000 workforce development students
   130 credit programs
   57 workforce development programs
   1,800 faculty (420 FT)
   3,500 employees
   Issues and problems
    with old site
   Developing a new
    brand identity for the
    institution
   “One College”, … but
    not a well defined
    identity on the web
    site
   Site is difficult to navigate – and to find
    content – 16,000 pages with no standard
    navigation
   Internal use content mixed in with other
    content
   Pages did not follow best practices for web
    design
   Most pages did not comply with our loosely
    defined college standards
   Common to have over 2,000 broken links
   Non-compliance with ADA requirements
   Out-of-date and conflicting content
   No unified appearance – brand identity was
    fragmented at best to almost non-existent
   No workflow, editing or review process
   Trying to represent the constant of the
    district-wide college while maintaining the
    uniqueness of each campus
   Taking content from the existing 16,000
    pages to distill the items of need to audiences
   Meetings at each campus to introduce project
    and seek cooperation and support
   2005 – Audience research conducted by
    contracted firm
    • Current and prospective students – focus groups
      and online surveys
    • Continuing Education and high school guidance
      counselors – focus groups
    • Key administrators and faculty influencers – phone
      interviews
    • Larger sample of faculty and staff – random, online
      survey
   Registration
   Hub for student news and communications
   Access to all programs and classes
   Class availability, times/room numbers,
    changes, grades
   Do everything online:
    •   Pay for classes
    •   Get parking passes
    •   Get books
    •   “Not have to go to the campus”


                                         Ervin Marketing Report, May 2006
   84.7%   -   Registration
   82.4%   -   Student Resources
   81.8%   -   Class Schedules
   77.9%   -   Blackboard
   60.3%   -   College Catalog

   29.9% - can’t find what they are looking for




                                    Ervin Marketing Report, May 2006
   The existing public website will be replaced in
    its entirety
   The new website will focus on the needs of
    our external constituents and will incorporate
    the College’s new marketing, branding and
    image campaign
    • Provide an informative, effective marketing tool
    • Provide for the needs of current students
   Align with the college strategic mission
   To increase enrollment at the college
   Simplify the experience for students
   Management, faculty, staff and
    administrators given the ability to develop
    and update content to web-site
   The contents of the new website will be
    developed by the outside vendor
   A second vendor will take responsibility for
    building the initial Web site
   The new web site will utilize the Serena
    Collage web content management system to
    simplify the publishing process and enable a
    workflow driven web authoring environment
   Rebrand the site to project STLCC as one
    college
   Build a site that allows visitors to select a
    path based on personal needs
   Create a new web content delivery system:
    •   Easy to update
    •   Reinforces web standards
    •   Provides a consistent user experience
    •   Flexible to respond to changing needs
   Understand the current user experience
    (qualitative research) and issues
   Determine features and functionalities
    desired by users
   Reorganize and rewrite the content to fit the
    needs of our target audiences
   Integrate the site into the ongoing, daily
    processes of the college
   Huge change in the culture of the way the
    website was maintained
   Shifting responsibility from campus to
    Community Relations and “content owners”
   Web Authoring as a distributed responsibility
   Identify person(s) responsible for web
    authorship
   College
    • Leadership Team
    • Ad Hoc Web Advisory Committee
    • Management Team
    • Technical Team
    • Developer Team
    • Content Team
   Non-College (Vendors)
    • Millennium Communications
    • Tower 29
   Taxonomy - (navigation, structure,
    organization)
    • Ad Hoc Web Advisory Committee – played a big role
    • Organized by function rather than content or internal
      organization structure
   Frequently accessed content on home page
    • Without trying to include everything
‣ Automate consistency and standards
  through templates and required elements
‣ Rich text editing eliminates the need for
  HTML or web editor experience
‣ Manage workflows with the combination of
  task management and a review/approval
  system
‣ Allow authorized users to easily add or
  update content “anytime, anywhere” through
  a browser
‣ Roll pages back to a previous version as
  needed
‣ Schedule content replacement or removal
   SungardHE Banner (ERP) Self-Service
   BlackBoard LMS
   Home-grown applications
    •   Course Schedule
    •   Schedule of Late-Starting Courses
    •   Employee Directory
    •   Continuing Education Registration
    •   Student Application
    •   Sexual Harassment, FERPA, and Diversity Tutorials
   New system – Windows Live student e-mail
‣ New website went live March 9, 2008:
‣ In order to have a go-live date, a “line” had
  to be drawn somewhere on what content
  would be part of the initial deployment
  • We used the Ad Hoc Web Committee to develop
    basic guidelines for what was to be included for
    Phase 1
  • There are some whose content was left out that
    felt their content was too important to not be
    included
   Representing a district-wide college (“One
    College” brand) while presenting the
    uniqueness of each campus.
   Underestimating timeline for content and
    technical development
   Working with several different vendors
   Focus can get sidetracked with input from
    concerned parties
   New positions, new employees
   Deploying new WCMS in conjunction with new
    site
   Internal audiences – time it takes to
    communicate – delays caused by summer
    schedules
   Managing expectations of new site –
    Launched with 1,600 vs. 16,000 pages
   “Phase 2” almost completed -
    • Corrections and updates - Added over 2050
      pages based on feedback and metrics analysis
    • Development of interactive, more dynamic
      content
    • WCMS contributor training
    • Development of department and “academic
      discipline” pages
    • Revival of the Ad hoc Web Advisory Committee
   Implementation of enrollment management
    tools (current initiative)
    • Recruitment Module – Banner
    • Third party CRM
   Continue to add content that was not
    included in the first two phases that fit the
    objective of the new site
   my.stlcc.edu student portal
   Blogs/Social networking
   The overall goal of project of creating a user-
    centric website was achieved
   The new website contributed to the goal of
    increase in enrollment
   Phase I rolled out smoothly
   National Council for Marketing and Public
    Relations – Silver Award
   The use of an outside consultant
    • Provided confirmation and justification for taking
      on this huge project
    • Identified the need for dedicated positions
    • Justified funding for project
   Active involvement of the faculty and staff
   Use of outside vendors for web development
   Good internal cooperation between technical
    and content
   Integration of home grown apps successful
   WCMS – edit, review and deploy functions
    went smoothly
   Implementation of AP style
   Setting a deadline and trying to stick to it -
    forced us to make some tough decisions to
    meet that deadline
   Outside vendor
    • Web development team needed a lot of effort to get
      up to speed with our WCMS
    • Vendor used for writing of content never really hit
      the mark
   WCMS
    • Issues integrating applications - vendor never got
      a handle on this
    • CMS user interface – edit function not as “friendly”
      as desirable – Many support calls from
      “occasional” user
    • Task management is cumbersome and does not
      match our business processes
    • Uncertain future of vendor support
    • Required desktop settings not necessarily
      compatible with campus settings
   In house team undermanned – made meeting
    deadlines very challenging
   Content needs to be re-written in a more
    “user friendly” style – easier to read
   Better communication/feedback process with
    faculty and staff during development and
    after deployment
   Faster implementation of additional/missing
    content
    • Departments & academic disciplines
    • Dynamic content
   Hard coding of static information – outside
    vendor not familiar with internal resources for
    dynamic content
   We had more hardware than was necessary –
    ASP & ASP.NET integration with CMS not
    realized until after learning more about WCMS
    capability
   Internal technical staff would have benefitted
    from earlier training
   Identifying and training more content
    contributors earlier
   The battle of the home page
    • Next to the navigation, this was the biggest focus
      of discussion
    • Too much ended up being included making the
      page very busy and, to many, unappealing
    • Many links were represented by both buttons and
      text links
   Some groups failed to take ownership of
    content
   Failed to maintain active Web Advisory
    Committee
   Departure of Director of Communications
    (Project Manager)
   Restructuring of Community Relations
   Overhaul of ad hoc Web Advisory Committee
   Delays in associated projects cause shifting
    priorities
   Re-establishing routine communication
    between content and technical departments
   Identifying new content management system
   Establishing groups.stlcc.edu in partner with
    Microsoft
   Social networking guidelines and policies
 Khouloud Hawasli
  Manager, Electronic Communication and System Integration
     khawasli@stlcc.edu
 George Sackett
  Web Content Supervisor
      gsackett@stlcc.edu
      www.twitter.com/George
         gsackett@stlcc.edu

 Presentation is available online at:
     http://www.stlcc.edu/presentations/

				
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posted:1/28/2011
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